BKK, Equinor and Air Liquide Provide Pilot-D Funds to Develop a Supply Chain for Liquid Hydrogen for Ships

By April 21, 2021 4   min read  (604 words)

April 21, 2021 |

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BKK, Equinor and Air Liquide are at the forefront of a new initiative that wants to build a complete supply chain for liquid hydrogen for the maritime industry.

NOK 33.5 million has been allocated to the project from the support scheme PILOT-E, which will contribute to new products and services within environmentally friendly energy technology being developed and put into use more quickly.

The industrial players aim to make liquid hydrogen available for commercial shipping by the first quarter of 2024. The project covers the entire value chain from production, storage and transport to use aboard specific vessels. The other project participants are NCE Maritime CleanTech, NORCE, Norled, NorSea Group, Viking Cruises and Wilhelmsen.

Green and sustainable shipping is a prerequisite for achieving national and international emissions targets.

Today, international shipping points to liquid hydrogen as one of the optimal zero-emission fuels for ships with high energy needs. Liquid hydrogen was also chosen for Norway’s first hydrogen ferry, which will be in operation for Norled on the Hjelmeland connection from 2021. The consortium’s goal is to contribute to market growth by offering liquid hydrogen produced from electrolysis.

Furthermore, Wilhelmsen will, together with NorSea Group, develop a new and flexible distribution concept for liquid hydrogen, which also includes zero-emission vessels and terminals, at NorSea’s bases for storage and bunkering. Norled, Wilhelmsen and Viking Ocean Cruises participate in the project as users of the hydrogen in their vessels.

The hydrogen terminals will also enable supply to other user categories, such as buses and heavy transport.

Important for the industry

– This is an important day for the industry and the maritime sector. In Norway, hydrogen projects are currently underway for cruise ships, offshore vessels, ferries and speedboats. Still, to speed up the shipping industry’s transition to zero-emission solutions, we need to set up a supply chain for green hydrogen. This project offers great potential for both industrial growth and significant emission reductions, says CEO of BKK, Jannicke Hilland.

– Air Liquide is proud to be part of this consortium. We will contribute to the project with more than 40 years of experience with safe and reliable liquid hydrogen production and distribution. Liquid hydrogen produced from renewable energy will be a competitive zero-emission alternative for shipping when produced at strategic locations in large volumes and offered through an efficient and secure supply chain. Our goal is to facilitate an efficient supply chain that speeds up this transition, says Frédéric Despréaux, VP Northern Europe and CIS Countries in Air Liquide.

First of its kind in the world

– This value chain will be the world’s first of its kind, and it will be an essential step in the development of cleaner fuel for shipping. Equinor is pleased to be part of a strong consortium and collaborate with public and private players in the highly innovative and future-oriented Norwegian maritime ecosystem, says Vice President for Low Carbon Solutions in Equinor, Steinar Eikaas.

– We are pleased to support an ambitious and innovative project that can have great significance for developing emission-free shipping, both in Norway and internationally. Hydrogen is one of the solutions we have high expectations of, and this project will help promote Norway’s leading position in the development of green maritime solutions, says the leader of PILOT-E, Trond Moengen.


The Pilot E-scheme is a funding offer for Norwegian business and industry, established by Forskningsrådet (the Research Council of Norway), Innovasjon Norge and Enova. The aim is that new products and services within environmentally friendly energy technology will be developed and used more quickly to contribute to emission reductions both in Norway and internationally.


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